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What Price Victory? The World of International Sports and Politics

Andrew Strenk
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 445, Contemporary Issues in Sport (Sep., 1979), pp. 128-140
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1042961
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
What Price Victory? The World of International Sports and Politics
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Abstract

Public opinion and the news media in the United States have generally assumed that sports and politics are separate entities and should be kept that way. However, this has not been the case throughout history. The tremendous emphasis which many nations today place on winning at international events such as the Olympics is due to several factors. Those nations spending millions of dollars on sports programs for elite athletes expect results. Sport can be a very useful political and diplomatic tool and weapon in gaining prestige, protesting various situations, spreading propaganda, and in recognizing or isolating another nation. There is a long tradition of mixing sports and politics which dates all the way back to the ancient Greeks. The development of the Turner movement in the German states of the 19th century, the rise of the Sokol movement in neighboring Bohemia, and the formation of the International Olympic Committee by Baron Pierre de Coubertin later in the same century all served to reinforce earlier traditions linking sports to politics. The result of these developments was to produce a war without weapons. The recognition of this fact is the first step towards limiting some of the most aggressive conflicts which have increasingly plagued modern international sports events.

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